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Boston Butts - Cooking Time Question

soli3

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Hi so I'm new to smoking and I'm cooking qty 3 Boston Butt's tomorrow. All are around 4 lbs each. My question is simple, I know they say 90 minute per pound on the Boston Butts at the 250 temp. What if there's 3 at 4 lbs each? Would I do 90 minutes x 12 lbs(total) or would I do 90 minutes x 4 (because they are 4 lbs each)?

Thank you!
 

soli3

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Go by IT and not time. But no the multiple butts don't add additional cook time. Each one is its own thing. Also they may not all be finished at the same time. Though if same weigh and thickness it will be close
Great thank you!
 

Brokenhandle

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Ya, what Jake said! No meat is always gonna take the same amount of time to smoke... what might finish in 5 hours this time might take 6 hours next time.

Ryan
 

Colin1230

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Welcome to the forum soli3, glad you joined us. Yep, Jake has you covered. The 90 minutes per lb. is a fair estimate for a single butt, but of course you want to add a little more time for multiple cuts. Also, I add a couple of hours for the meat to rest in a cooler. Rest time can be more or less depending on when I need to serve.
 

radioguy

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Soli, welcome to SMF. 4 pound butts are on the small side so you may be closer to 6 hours total. Smaller cuts tend to cook quicker. Shoulder butts are usually 6-9 pounds. Try to let the meat come up to room temperature if possible. Use IT as a guideline, probe for doneness . Probe will slide in, like in warm butter.

Have fun,
RG
 

JLeonard

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Welcome to the forums. Looks like everyone has you covered.
Jim
 

SmokinAl

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Those are really small butts, so I’m guessing they are boneless. They will cook faster than a bone in butt. Next time I would recommend getting about a 7-8 lb. bone in butt. It will take longer to cook but it will be much juicier than the boneless one. And Jake has you covered on the temp part. I have fed 20 people with an 8 lb bone in butt, with 2 sides, cole slaw & smoked beans, and had leftovers!
Al
 

zwiller

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Welcome! It is really hard to estimate, each smoker is different. 8lb butt takes me 15hrs on average at 275F with MES. I cut one in half once and was around 8hrs (2- 4lbs chunks). That said, I asked the guys here how long they though it would takes to smoke 2- 8lb butts and most said add 25% more time/add a few more hours. Those 2 took 25hrs. Was not 30hrs at least... I say plan worst case at 12lbs * 90m = 18hrs. I predict it's a bit less and something like 12. Plan for the worst hope for the best. In general smoking food takes WAY longer than you expect when you are first starting out. GOOD LUCK!
 

tallbm

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Hi so I'm new to smoking and I'm cooking qty 3 Boston Butt's tomorrow. All are around 4 lbs each. My question is simple, I know they say 90 minute per pound on the Boston Butts at the 250 temp. What if there's 3 at 4 lbs each? Would I do 90 minutes x 12 lbs(total) or would I do 90 minutes x 4 (because they are 4 lbs each)?

Thank you!
Hi there and welcome!!!

Everyone's system, setup, and smokers will perform differently. I get just a little over an hour a pound at a steady 275F. If I did that meat in my smoker I thin it would still take me about 13 hours.

IMPORTANT even if you think you have your time estimated properly add 4 hours to the cook. The goal is to finish 4 hours early an if you do so you double wrap the meat tightly in foil. Then wrap in 3 large bath towels and set on the counter and it will be PIPING hot 4-5 hours later when you are ready to eat and serve!!!
If you don't finish 4 hours early then you have 4 hours buffer for the meat to complete cooking until it is tender.

Pork butt's and briskets are always done when they are tender all over and you check for tenderness by stabbing ALL OVER with wooden kabob skewer (or something similar) and it goes in like butter. You only use the Internal Temp (IT) of the meat to tell you WHEN to stab test for tenderness. Never done by time or temp alone.

I hope this info helps you out :)
 

soli3

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Welcome to the forum soli3, glad you joined us. Yep, Jake has you covered. The 90 minutes per lb. is a fair estimate for a single butt, but of course you want to add a little more time for multiple cuts. Also, I add a couple of hours for the meat to rest in a cooler. Rest time can be more or less depending on when I need to serve.
Is the rest absolutely necessary? The cuts will be done at 7pm tonight and people want to eat lol
 

Colin1230

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Is the rest absolutely necessary? The cuts will be done at 7pm tonight and people want to eat lol
See tallbm's post above. He speaks the truth and you really do want to impress your family and friends. Start a little earlier and good luck.

Oops, lost track of time. How did they turn out and did you take pics?
 
Last edited:

tallbm

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Is the rest absolutely necessary? The cuts will be done at 7pm tonight and people want to eat lol
For pulled pork, no the rest isnt necessary. But lets not confuse a pork butt being "ready" as the same thing as "resting" a pork butt.
If it's not tender then it's not ready so resting isn't even an option :)
 

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